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China’s evolving reserve requirements

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  • Ma, Guonan

    ()
    (BOFIT)

  • Xiandong, Yan

    (BOFIT)

  • Xi, Liu

    (BOFIT)

Abstract

This paper examines the evolving role of reserve requirements as a policy tool in China. Since 2007, the Chinese central bank (PBC) has relied more on this tool to withdraw domestic liquidity surpluses, as a cheaper substitute for open-market operation instruments in this period of rapid FX accumulation. China’s reserve requirement system has also become more complex and been used to address a range of other policy objectives, not least being macroeconomic management, financial stability and credit policy. The preference for using reserve requirements reflects the size of China’s FX sterilisation task and the associated cost considerations, a quantity-oriented monetary policy framework challenged to reconcile policy dilemmas and tactical considerations. The PBC often finds it easier to reach consensus over reserve requirement decisions than interest rate decisions and enjoys greater discretion in applying this tool. The monetary effects of reserve requirements need to be explored in conjunction with other policy actions and not in isolation. Depending on the policy mix, higher reserve requirements tend to signal a tightening bias, to squeeze excess reserves of banks, to push market interest rates higher, and to help widen net interest spreads, thus tightening domestic monetary conditions. There are, however, costs to using this policy tool, as it imposes a tax burden on Chinese banks that in turn appear to have passed a significant portion of this cost onto their customers, mostly depositors and SMEs. However, the pass-through onto bank customers appears to be partial.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition in its series BOFIT Discussion Papers with number 30/2011.

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Length: 50 pages
Date of creation: 14 Dec 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:bofitp:2011_030

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Keywords: reserve requirements; sterilisation tools; monetary policy; net interest margin and spread; tax incidence; Chinese economy;

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References

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  1. Paul Conway & Richard Herd & Thomas Chalaux, 2010. "Reforming China's Monetary Policy Framework to Meet Domestic Objectives," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 822, OECD Publishing.
  2. Guonan Ma & RobertN McCauley, 2008. "Efficacy Of China'S Capital Controls: Evidence From Price And Flow Data," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(1), pages 104-123, 02.
  3. Carlos Montoro & Ramon Moreno, 2011. "The use of reserve requirements as a policy instrument in Latin America," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Luke Deer & Ligang Song, 2012. "China's Approach to Rebalancing: A Conceptual and Policy Framework," China & World Economy, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, vol. 20(1), pages 1-26, 01.
  2. Hailong Jin & E. Kwan Choi, 2013. "China's Profits and Losses from Currency Intervention, 1994-2011," CESifo Working Paper Series 4551, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Dena Sedeghian & Graham White & Patrick D’Arcy, 2013. "Macroeconomic Management in China," RBA Bulletin, Reserve Bank of Australia, pages 11-20, June.
  4. Reuven Glick & Michael Hutchison, 2013. "China’s financial linkages with Asia and the global financial crisis," Working Paper Series 2013-12, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  5. Patrick Blagrave & Peter Elliott & Roberto Garcia-Saltos & Douglas Hostland & Douglas Laxton & Fan Zhang, 2013. "Adding China to the Global Projection Model," IMF Working Papers 13/256, International Monetary Fund.
  6. Andrew Filardo & James Yetman, 2012. "Key facts on central bank balance sheets in Asia and the Pacific," BIS Papers chapters, in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), Are central bank balance sheets in Asia too large?, volume 66, pages 10-29 Bank for International Settlements.

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